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Steven Mnuchin Says Global Powers Must Prevent Cryptocurrencies From Becoming Another 'Swiss Bank Account'
Capital Markets, FinTech
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has warned against cryptocurrencies becoming akin to a digital Swiss bank account that allows people to anonymously stash money, Bloomberg reports.
Mnuchin issued his warning while speaking at the Economic Club of Washington on Friday, according to Bloomberg.
Under U.S. law, “if you have a wallet to own bitcoins, that company has the same obligation as a bank to know” you as a customer, Mnuchin said. “We can track those activities. The rest of the world doesn’t have that, so one of the things we will be working very closely with the G-20 is making sure that this doesn’t become the Swiss bank account.”
Mnuchin said U.S. authorities, including the Federal Reserve, were studying the pros and cons of issuing digital dollars instead of hard cash, but “the Fed and we don’t think there’s any need for that at this point.”
However, Mnuchin also dismissed the idea that Russia could utilize cryptocurrencies to avoid international monetary sanctions, an idea that was reportedly floated by an aide to President Vladimir Putin.